Ava DeAngelis 

Internship: National Academy of Public Administration

April 13, 2022 | Hello everyone! This is my last blog post for the semester since my internship is close to ending. I can’t believe how quickly the semester flew by! We are coming up on finals season so I have been spending a lot of time finishing up my final assignments, so that I can get a head start on studying. The weather in DC these past few days has been absolutely beautiful. The trees are blooming, and my friends and I have spent as much time doing work outside as possible. Just yesterday we all got lemonade from the Davenport Coffee Lounge and then sat outside on the quad on blankets and read our books. It was so relaxing.
Ava DFor my internship, I have had the chance to go into the office several times the past few weeks. The most exciting was when I went in for the Charter Day celebration we had, where we celebrated 38 years since the Academy received its charter from Congress. It was so nice to see all the people I work with on a daily basis in-person, and the hustle and bustle of the office was a nice change of pace.

I recently started helping the Grand Challenges team with their spotlight reports. The Academy has outlined the 12 Grand Challenges in Public Administration, and that was one of the things that drew me to the organization, so I knew it was something I wanted to help with if I was given the opportunity. I am currently working on the “Managing Technological Changes” spotlight report which addresses 2 of the 12 Grand Challenges: Ensure Data Security and Privacy Rights of Individuals and Make Government AI Ready. I am responsible for going in and updating the page to reflect new Executive Orders, policy changes, and cybersecurity regulations and task forces. It has been a cool experience so far and has been a great chance for me to practice my research skills.

This weekend, my friends and I headed to Georgetown to do a little shopping. M street in Georgetown is a cute shopping area with a mix of fancy and affordable stores. My friends and I stopped at H&M, Aritzia, Aerie, and Sephora. It was so nice to walk around the city and enjoy how beautiful Georgetown is. After we shopped, we stopped to get $4 falafel at this great falafel restaurant nearby. If you are in the Georgetown area, I highly recommend heading to Falafel Inc. and getting a sandwich!Sandwich

GtownThat concludes my final blog post for the semester! Thank you guys for following along on my journey as a second semester freshman in the Cornerstone Program. I have learned so much in my time interning at the National Academy of Public Administration, and I am so thankful to AU and the Cornerstone Program that I was able to have this experience so early on in my college career!


March 24, 2022 | Ava D Hi everyone and happy spring!! I am so happy that the weather is getting nicer and the flowers are blooming. Springtime in DC is supposed to be the most beautiful time of the year and I can’t wait to experience it! This past weekend, my cousins came down to DC to visit so we headed over to the Tidal Basin and saw the cherry blossoms. They had just started blooming and went around the Tidal Basin, all the way to the Jefferson Memorial. This was my first time seeing the cherry blossoms, since they are only in bloom for a few weeks out of the whole year, and it was such a cool and beautiful experience. I am lucky though because American University’s campus has a whole grove of cherry blossoms right on campus that I can see just by walking five minutes from my dorm. 

Right by the cherry blossoms, across the basin from the Jefferson Memorial is the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial with a tall statue of MLK and a whole stone wall full of his quotes. This is the first time I have been to the MLK memorial since I was in middle school. Walking along the cherry blossoms reading his quotes was incredibly powerful and I highly recommend you all to go visit.  
Ava D 2As for my internship, similar to February with Black History Month, I worked on Fellow spotlights for Women’s History Month which is in March. We were able to get 11 Fellows to spotlight, which is great, and the Fellows had lots of thoughtful things to say about impactful women and the fight for equality. If you are interested in reading them you can find all of the spotlights: here. I loved reading John Palguta’s spotlight, especially his final response where he talked about his mother (warning: it is a bit of a tear-jerker).  

I also have been helping my supervisor with the Fellow nomination process. Each spring, NAPA opens up Fellow nominations, where Fellows have the opportunity to nominate accomplished public administrators to the Fellowship. This year a major goal for nominations is to try and diversify the Fellowship in age, gender, race, location, and area of expertise. I made some graphs that show our current Fellow demographics, which we sent out in hopes of receiving some more diverse nominations. I also helped draft the emails that were sent to the Fellows and created a how-to video that showed a step-by-step process on how to nominate a Fellow, especially if they were having trouble. 

Since the weather has been getting nicer, I have been going into the office a bit more than before. The walk from the metro is pleasant and my favorite part of the office is its amazing location right on K Street, only two blocks away from the White House. Oftentimes after my internship is over, I will walk down the street and visit the White House and sit in the park right in front. I am so lucky that I get to live and work in such a cool city. Ava D 3

March 2, 2022 | Hello everyone! The semester is about halfway done, which means I have been interning at NAPA for a little over 2 months now! In these two months I have learned so much and had the chance to work on a lot of really cool projects, but equally important I have begun to build connections with my supervisor as well as other interns and NAPA employees. Each week, we have an intern check-in meeting where I get to hear about the work the other interns are doing and discuss what is going on in their lives. These meetings are a great way to connect and hear about the experiences that other people within NAPA are having. A lot of the research interns at NAPA are grad students, so it is nice for me as a first year undergrad student to get their advice on both school and life after college.

This past week, NAPA held the Elliot L. Richardson Prize event. This event is meant to honor the work of Elliot L. Richardson who was the Secretary of Health, Education, and Wellness and also a combat medic in World War II. The award goes to those who have exemplified “excellence and integrity of public service”. Past winners include Sandra Day O’Connor, Colin Powell, and even American University’s current President, Sylvia Burwell! This year’s recipients were Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins. The two were receiving this award for the excellent work that they did in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was moderated by Chuck Todd from NBC, and although it had to be virtual, audience members were still able to ask questions for Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins to answer. It was incredibly surreal to get to hear the two of them speak and talk about their experience in public administration and their thoughts about the future of the country. Without NAPA and the Cornerstone program I would never have had this opportunity!

Outside of my internship, school work has definitely been ramping up, especially since midterm season is approaching. I have been spending a lot of time in the library studying and doing homework each day. I prefer to sit on the first floor and sit at the bigger tables in the front. Usually, I will go and get a lavender lemonade from the Davenport Coffee Lounge and then head to the library to get my work done and study with friends. 

Recently, the weather has been so beautiful, it reached 70 degrees the other day! Coming from Massachusetts, where it rarely goes above 40 in February, I have been capitalizing on the beautiful DC weather as much as I can. The other day my roommate and I walked down to the National Cathedral and sat and did our work on the grass in front of it. It was so peaceful and relaxing. I can’t wait for springtime and cherry blossom season, so I can spend even more time sitting outside and visiting all of the beautiful places DC has to offer.

February 11, 2022 NAPAHello everyone! My name is Ava DeAngelis, and I am from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. I am so excited to be a Cornerstone Ambassador, and to share my experiences throughout my second semester at AU! I am studying Political Science and Communications, and I am so grateful that my internship this semester blends both of these interests. I am currently an intern at the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) on Monday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am to 5pm. The National Academy of Public Administration is a non-profit organization focused on helping government organizations solve issues and run more equitably and efficiently. NAPA contracts with government agencies and then conducts research to help them solve the problems they are facing. A major part of NAPA is their network of 950+ Fellows who include academics, federal employees, nonprofit workers, and city mayors/planners. All of them have expertise in different fields and a wide array of public administration experience.

My role at NAPA primarily centers around the Fellows since I am an Intern for Fellow Engagement. This means I work closely with the Director of Fellow Engagement and communicate directly with the Fellows on a regular basis. A project I have been working on for the past few weeks that is now launching, are the Fellow spotlights for Black History Month. I drafted questions about Black history and its effects, and then asked Fellows to interpret and answer them however they see fit. I then created several different web pages to showcase these spotlights online. It is so interesting to hear the stories, thoughts, and opinions of the different Fellows. Each of them shared thought provoking insights and anecdotes based on their own life and work experiences. If you are interested in reading them: click here, a new spotlight will be released every 4-5 days.

K StreetWhen I first began this semester, I was really nervous about being able to balance the internship with my classwork, but I have found it to be much easier than expected. I am currently taking three classes that pertain to my major, plus the MFP class and AUx2. What has been nice is that the classes I am taking are all focused on my Political Science and Communications interests, so I really enjoy the things I am learning. A lot of them actually help me improve within my internship, which is an added perk.

I have classes from 11:20am to 3:45pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, so I usually try to get a lot of work done after class. My friends and I love doing our work on the SIS balconies because the view is nice and there is a lot of natural light. A lot of times we will do work in SIS and then go get dinner at TDR to take a break from studying. My favorite meal that TDR serves is baked ziti, so it’s always a good day when I go and that’s for dinner.

BLMMy internship at NAPA is in a hybrid format which I find nice because it allows a lot more flexibility in my schedule, especially with the unpredictability of COVID-19. The past few weeks I have been working remotely from both my home in Massachusetts and my dorm room. This week, however, I was able to go into the office. I took the red line 5 stops from Tenleytown to Farragut North and then walked to the NAPA office on the corner of K Street and Black Lives Matter Boulevard. There were not a lot of people working in-person, so I was able to work in a corner office with the coolest view of the two streets. I had seen a photo of Black Lives Matter Boulevard from a bird's eye view, but I thought it was really cool that I was able to see it for myself by just looking out the window. It was so nice to get the opportunity to go into the city and do work in an office rather than being cooped up on campus. I love walking around DC and exploring different areas and since K street is not an area that I have spent a lot of time in I decided to go to my internship a little earlier than I needed to, so that I could explore. It helped break up my week, and I am so excited to head back into the office throughout the rest of the semester!